Pork Belly Miso

$16.00 · 39 Reviews

[ Café Food Review — slow, small portions + lacklustre service ] I’m just going to open off by saying I don’t get the hype with Kara Café & Dessert Bar. Some background: C^2 and I have been wanting night café food in BKT for a while, and since the reviews for Kara looked fine, why not try it?

First visit: This was more a supper since we ate prior. Our goal was to try their Okonomiyaki Tater Tots after @lausybren recommended it (thank you!!), so we checked that it was available, ordered, and got a seat. After we paid and were mid-drink, we were told the tater tots were sold out. Mind you, no one else ordered it nor did we see it served. After the refund, we were stuck with drinks when we could’ve gone home instead. Great.

Next visit: This time, C^2 and I decided to pop by during dinner time instead. She placed the order for it first to be safe before we looked for mains. Many of their mains were sold out, so we got their Pork Belly Miso (apparently a signature) + Tempura Fish Kimchi. Alas, 15-20 mins later we were informed again that the tempura was sold out. Cue needing to pick another bowl and pay $2 more for something I didn’t particularly want (their katsu).

Here’s the only silver lining of the night: The tater tots were great!! /chef kiss/ (Did have to wait 30mins for it tho.) Despite being covered in sauce and mayo, the potato bites were still crispy, and the spring onions and furikake garnishing made the dish a lot more and staved away impending saturation.

The rest of our mains, not so much. My goodness, the portion sizes were dismal. While we did get a slab of pork belly, it was fattier than I’d expected, lying next to a strange inclusion of fried instant noodle bits, and flanked by a sad mess of onions and some edamame. At least the mix wasn’t bad.

If I thought the belly was bad, wait until you see their katsu. Not only did we have to wait nearly an hour for it (they told us 20mins more 30mins in), when it arrived, we were given h a l f a piece of katsu that I could’ve eaten in a bite or two. An hour. For that. Better yet, the entire dish was dull, plain and bland. Took a few bites, and we were done with it.

Nope, never visiting again.

I've got a love-hate relationship with KARA Cafe. Their food is way overpriced for the portions, it's stupid crowded half the time and the staff is not the friendliest. But this Miso Pork Belly ($16++) always keeps me coming back. With packet ramen chips, an overcooked egg and sparsely strewn vegetables, you'd frown at the price point until you take a bite of the pork belly. Three layers of perfection, ratioed perfectly for that melty, fatty goodness and the zingy miso-teriyaki marination of the meat. The meagre portioning stops it from getting too jelak, yet leaves you hanging like an incomplete hyphenation, a cruel lover. I just feel very strongly about this pork belly, okay?

TL;DR Try this dish if you can handle everything other than the meat seeming like an afterthought.

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Ate this before with a friend and this is my third time. Never fails to disappoint.
Love how the pork belly melts in your mouth, there is crunch from the Mamee noodle and the onsen egg gives its creaminess.

Portion size is a little small for $16 but burpple makes it worth!

8.5/10

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Average food for the price

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The pork literally melted in ma mouth! I find the “maggie” noodles in the dish makes a different to the texture. It’s like all soft and crunchy too!

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Dish was normal, portion was smaller than average in my opinion. Price was ok with Burple Beyond.

Think tasty grain bowls with ramen crisps for the carbs portion in case you're tired of rice. Try the Taco Mexx Chicken ($14) with salsa and cilatro cream, making the whole thing taste like a burrito. Burppler Shaun got the Pork Belly Miso Grain Bowl ($16) and "the braised pork belly was melt-in-your-mouth tender and super flavourful!". KARA is also a dessert bar, so don't forget some yoghurt ice cream.

Photo by Burppler Shaun Sim

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Second time back at Kara cafe for their grain bowls. Redeemed burpple for 1 for 1 Grain bowl (above picture - Pork Belly Miso grain bowl) & drink set. Noted the portion of the grain bowls were smaller this time. Will be back again to redeem the sogurt ice cream!

One of those rare days that we got to leave work early in time to have lunch outside of the school canteen! 😂

Cheapo teachers like us decided on our lunch venue by looking thru #burpplebeyond for 1 for 1 deals and were pleasantly surprised by the quality of the food here.

I got the Pork Belly Miso Grain Bowl and the braised pork belly was melt in your mouth tender & super flavourful! The cafe was also quaint enough that we spent over 3 hours chatting without realising it.

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